microblading feathering

How Long Does Cosmetic Tattooing Last?

In recent years we have seen a new wave of brow tattooing, generally called feather touch tattooing or microblading. A favourite beauty procedure amongst celebrities, there’s no doubt you have probably seen the impressive effects all over social media, and the many benefits written about in beauty magazines and blogs. However, there’s one question that is rarely spoken about, and that is how long do cosmetic eyebrow tattoos really last?

Thinking of getting your makeup permanently applied? Maybe you hate applying your eyeliner daily, or you aren’t able to use it as precisely as you’d like, or perhaps you just hate the constant struggle of trying to achieve the perfect cat-eye. Whatever your reasons, you may find a solution in permanent eyeliner.Looking for eyeliner tattoo salon? Look no further,Cosmetic Tattoo by Rach got you covered.

We spoke to experts in the field to find out all there is to know about the process, how long it takes ― and perhaps most importantly, how long it lasts. The popularity of permanent makeup seems to be growing, and there are many reasons for that. Women got tired of applying makeup daily. It is time-consuming, requires some skills and precision, and it usually wears off until the end of the day.

Therefore, they decided to turn to microblading eyebrows, permanent lipstick, lash extensions and other popular treatments that can make them look effortlessly pretty even when they go shopping.

For the ~uninformed~, permanent makeup is a tattoo technique (yup, tattoo!) that can leave you with full brows, tinted lips, and a sharp cat-eye for years—no products needed. And unlike the tattooed makeup of the ’80s and ’90s, permanent makeup of 2020 actually looks like makeup, not a line of tattooed ink along with your lids or mouth.

But how exactly does it work? And is it super painful? Don’t worry, and I gotcha: I reached out to the experts to find out everything there is to know about permanent makeup—from microblading to eyeliner, to lip blushing—ahead. Good luck getting through this guide without booking an appointment.

Eyebrow Tattoo Image

Modern Cosmetic Tattooing Techniques

For most of the twentieth century, artists used the same tattooing techniques to create both decorative tattoos (think: forearm snakes and broken hearts) and permanent makeup. The problem was, depositing pigments deep into the skin often created harsh-looking results that faded and turned fuzzy over time.

Over the last few decades, permanent makeup artists have been perfecting an updated approach that combines reformulated pigments with more delicate blades and a simple application technique to create a more natural-looking (and temporary) result. This is why today’s cosmetic tattooing is usually referred to as ‘semipermanent makeup. See more of our  eyebrow tattoo services. 

Nesterenko, a Russian-born engineer and artist who has been a permanent makeup technician for nearly three decades, explains that the industry really changed in the early 2000s when new technology emerged. “An American company called SofTap came on the market with very fine-hand tools for microblading that allowed me to give my clients more precise, natural results,” she says.

Is Cosmetic Tattoo A Safe Procedure?

At Permanent-Line, the procedures are performed under sterile conditions, using only disposable needle cartridges and with digitally controlled implantation device. There are no long-term side effects; short-term effects may include some redness, swelling, and tenderness. There are no known allergic reactions to pigments. 

There’s a lot of room for error when talking about semi permanent tattoos and the eye area. But both Dr Russak and Aava say when done properly at a reputable place by a professional or certified aesthetician, permanent eyeliner can be safe. Translation: Don’t walk into just any place without having done your research beforehand. Pay a visit to the location, talk to past clients—anything to ensure the establishment is clean and professional.

And the same goes for taking the proper precautions before your appointment—do your research and come prepared. “Even though eyeliner tattoos or semipermanent makeup are not as deep as regular tattoos, they still involve a needle piercing the skin, so the same precautions should be taken as with any other similar procedure,” Dr Russak explains. “Avoid blood thinners, including red wine, Aspirin, Advil, and Aleve, beforehand to prevent bleeding and bruising, and make sure you haven’t taken Accutane within six months of getting tattooed, because it can affect your healing process.”

How Long Do Permanent Makeup Treatments Last? 

Even though these treatments are called “permanent”, none of them lasts forever. New techniques emerged several years ago, giving these treatments an updated version and name that seems to be way more suitable – semi permanent makeup if the effects are to be considered. Some of them last for more than ten years, while the others last for just two years.

The longevity of today’s cosmetic tattoos varies, but most estimates put the duration of results anywhere between one and three years (hence, why ‘semipermanent’ is the more accurate moniker). Everyone’s body metabolizes pigment differently, and, since the ink is placed very close to the skin’s surface, it also sloughs away in time. As a result, routine touch-ups are required.

You might be wondering: Can the colour change over time? Or what if it fades out unevenly? “This was a big issue I personally experienced when my lip liner turned black,” Bossavy shares. “It was horrific as a young girl in Paris, which is what got me into this business.” In an effort to understand what happened, Bossavy ended up developing her own NanoColor Infusion™ line of natural, organic pigments that are specially formulated to break down consistently and evenly.

Well, that totally depends on what treatment you get, but generally, it will last you anywhere from one to three years. So, not really permanent, but, hey, more permanent than the eyeliner that smudges off your face by the end of the day, right? And the reason it doesn’t last forever, like a regular tattoo, is because permanent makeup doesn’t reach the deeper layer of your skin—it’s more of a superficial tattoo. Cool? Cool. Now let’s get to the specifics of the three biggest types of permanent makeup: Check out eyebrow tattoo page which has everything you might need near you.

There are many factors that affect the longevity of treatment, and we are giving you summed-up effects of each permanent and semipermanent treatment in the table below.

Cosmetic Lip Tattoo Before and After

Treatment Longevity

Microblading eyebrows (2-3 years)

Ombre powder brows (1-3 years)

Microshading (1-3 years)

Feather eyebrows (8-12 months)

Henna Brows (2-4 weeks)

Nano brows (1-3 years)

Permanent eyeliner (1-3 years)

Permanent lipstick (3-5 years)

Lash lift (6-8 weeks)

Lash extensions (6-8 weeks)

Freckle tattoos (2-3 years)

Scalp micropigmentation (4-6 years)

Permanent under-eye concealer (3-5 years)

Nipple and areola tattoo (3-5 years)

Note: The table shows the longevity of different permanent makeup treatments. Bear in mind that they can be prolonged with regular touch-ups and proper care.

Permanent eyebrows

There are different techniques for eyebrows permanent makeup. Those that are called permanent are tattooed brows, and they last for many years. They are a bit outdated and replaced with more sophisticated treatments that provide a natural look.

Microblading and its variations such as microshading, powder brows and feather brows include inserting pigment into the skin but not as deep as it was done with tattooed eyebrows. Therefore, they are only semi-permanent, and they last up to three years, depending on different factors.

Here are some things that affect the longevity of your brow permanent makeup:

  • touch-up frequency – if you freshen up your microbladed brows often enough, they will last longer
  • skin type – the pigment is likely to fade more quickly with people with oily skin
  • lifestyle – if you sweat every day and your skin is often exposed to the sun, it will speed fading up
  • skincare routine – some cosmetic products contain ingredients that might speed fading up

eyebrow tattoo before and after

Permanent eyeliner

Permanent eyeliner is a very popular procedure, especially with women who like wearing makeup every day. It draws attention to your eyes without the struggle of having to apply it every morning precisely. Permanent eyeliner lasts from one to three years. The ink is not injected so deep into the skin, and the colour normally fades away.

The speed of fading depends on your skin type and lifestyle, as well as the skin products you use. Also, the quality of the ink affects the longevity of your permanent eyeliner.

Although it’s called permanent eyeliner, eyeliner tattoos are actually semipermanent, which means if you want it to last forever, you’ll have to get it touched up as it fades. According to Dr. Russak, you can expect your semi permanent eyeliner to hold out for a year or two, but in some cases, Aava says it could maybe even last up to five years.

Photograph of Permanent Cosmetic Tattoo

Factors to consider 

When you’re thinking of having cosmetic tattooing done to enhance your looks, it’s natural to wonder just how long the results will last. As a cosmetic tattoo is a semipermanent makeup procedure, it does fade over time. However, there’s no real straight answer to the question of how long your cosmetic tattoo will last. There are many different factors to take into consideration. For example:

  • Brand of pigment – a brand with an impeccable track record for safety should always be used
  • Quality of pigment – it goes without saying that the quality of pigment is of the utmost importance
  • The technique employed – your micropigmentation specialist should be qualified and well versed in the latest techniques.
  • Exposure to sun – prolonged or long-term sun exposure makes pigment fade much more rapidly.
  • Type of skin – commonly dry skin hold pigment more than its oily counterpart although this is not always the case.
  • Use of medication – some medications make pigment ore difficult or even impossible for the skin to hold
  • Following aftercare instructions – your specialist will explain exactly how to look after your skin after the procedure. If these instructions aren’t correctly followed, your tattoo may not be as long-lasting and in the worst-case scenario may even not heal into the skin.
  • Natural body functions/metabolism – exercise, diet and your own rate of healing have an effect on your cosmetic tattoo.
  • Beauty treatments – some beauty treatments such as microdermabrasion, glycolic acid, laser, peels and AHA tend to make your tattoo fade.
  • Depth of colour – lighter colours tend to fade faster than darker tones. Good news if you love the dramatic black cat-eye eyeliner look!

There really is no exact answer to how long it will last, depending on your skin type and how it holds the pigment, as well as how closely you follow the aftercare instructions, cosmetic eyebrow tattoos can last between 12 months and three years. There are many things that can impact the lifespan, including:

  • The quality and technique used.
  • The quality of the pigments used.
  • Your skin type – although not always the case, often dryer skin can hold onto the pigment more than oily skin.
  • Sun exposure – will make the pigment fade a lot quicker, so if you spend a lot of time outdoors, your eyebrow tattooing will generally fade faster.
  • Beauty treatments – particular beauty treatments can make the tattoo fade quicker. Exfoliants such as glycolic acid, peels and microdermabrasion can impact the life of your tattoos.
  • Aftercare – after your treatment, your body actually treats the area like a cut anywhere else on your body, and it will form a small scab. It would help if you took real care not to damage the scab. Otherwise, the pigment may come out with it. It’s important to follow the aftercare instructions from your brow technician. If these instructions aren’t followed properly, your tattooing won’t last as long and may not even heal into the skin at all.
  • Colour – darker colours usually last longer than lighter colours. Blonde eyebrows will likely fade and need to be touched up a lot sooner than darker eyebrows.

Permanent Vs Semi-Permanent Tattoos

Many people assume that like a traditional tattoo which is ‘permanent’, cosmetic tattooing will last forever, but as it is a ‘semipermanent’ procedure, it will fade over time. The main difference between a semipermanent tattoo and a permanent one is how deeply the ink is injected into the skin. The deeper you go, the longer it stays. Traditional body tattoos are intended to last, so artists implant the ink deep into the skin. Semipermanent brows are expected to fade, so technicians use a digital pen or microblading tool to implant ink more superficially into the skin.


If you want the colour to stay perfect, it’s best to be prepared to have a retouch every 12 months or thereabouts. Some people may be lucky and get a lot longer out of the procedure, and some people decide to let it fade off a bit before having it redone so that the colour or shape can be changed.See more of our  eyebrow tattoo services. 

A great procedure for those wanting to spend less time on their everyday beauty routine and have great brows all the time; cosmetic eyebrow tattoos are rapidly growing in popularity. If you want to obtain the perfect shape and colour eyebrows, then contact the expert team at Charisma Skin Studio now on 08 9440 0221. Conveniently located in Stirling, the team at Charisma Skin Studio are committed to providing you with outstanding beauty services and professional advice.

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